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Syria reports first coronavirus death

March 30, 2020 at 12:28 pm

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) disinfect buildings and tents where families live collectively as a preventive measure against coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Idlib, Syria on 24 March 2020 [Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency]

Syria’s Ministry of Health has reported the death of a woman due to the coronavirus pandemic yesterday, making her the first patient to die from the illness in the country.

With the cause of her death being initially unknown, doctors confirmed that she was infected with the virus after they ran the post-mortem tests.

According to the state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the Ministry of Health stated that: “A woman died as soon as she had arrived at a hospital as an emergency case, and after conducting a test on a sample from her, it was clear she had coronavirus.”

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While the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad has claimed that four new cases have been spotted and that the total number of cases is 10, there are serious reports and concerns that it has covered up a significant amount of infection cases, with the total number reportedly being 57.

Syria’s confirmation of the woman’s death yesterday comes as regime authorities have been imposing strict measures throughout recent weeks, including the closure of schools, parks, restaurants, and other public facilities, and a ban on public transport earlier this week, along with the nationwide curfew.

A prominent result of the regime’s handling of the crisis is the rampant food shortages that Syrian citizens have been suffering from, with even bread being in short supply and only obtainable at significant risk such as breaking the curfew and waiting in large crowds.

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The main concern amongst many in the international community is that if the virus spreads further within Syria, the Syrian refugees displaced from the nine-year-long conflict could be infected and could cause havoc in the already-struggling refugee camps in northwestern Syria and Turkey.

Analysts are already predicting that the potential second wave of the respiratory coronavirus on the world will most likely originate from the Syrian refugees travelling to Europe and seeking shelter from the Assad regime.

Due to these concerns, the United Nations has called for an immediate global ceasefire – particularly for Syria’s ongoing nine-year-long war – in order to efficiently battle the pandemic.